During our stay, here in the dwarven stronghold, I have decided to start keeping a journal, to record my thoughts and feelings. Perhaps this will help me to better understand this strange world that I find myself in.
It was shortly after leaving my ruined home behind me that events led me here. I had travelled to a nearby village, with no purpose or direction, merely seeking a means to keep travelling. It was my intention that when the money that I had with me was all spent that I could perform feats of strength or precision in return for some room and board. Also, I had powers that had come to me as a teenager, I believe given to me by the gods, that might help me make my way in this new world.
I was very depressed and despondent over the destruction of my home and the death of my brothers, but something pushed me to explore this world that I had no knowledge of. Perhaps, looking back on it, my will to live was not quite extinguished and vengeance lay waiting in the back of my mind.
On this particular morning, I gathered my belongings from the inn where I had stayed the night before. The night before, I had learned that the mountains in which I had spent my whole life were called the Angmar Mountains and that another village lay just a couple of days walk away. It frustrated me that I had grown up without even the simple knowledge of the name of region in which I lived. However, my self-absorption did not prevent me from noticing that the sun that rose that morning had turned the entire sky as red as fire. Perhaps this was a portent; I do not know for that is beyond my knowledge.
I walked the roadway to the next village, noticing little of my surroundings. Night came and I lay down on the side of the road to sleep. I was ill-prepared for the rapid change in direction that my life would take that night.
As I slept, I dreamt. Most times, even today, my dreams are of the battle that took my home and family from me, but this night my dream took on a different form. I dreamt that I woke from my sleep to see an orb hovering in the air in front of me. The orb was the colour of night, yet it must have given off some light for I could see it in the darkness. The orb spoke.
Alas, I do not remember exactly what it said. I do remember that it called me a “dragon-born”, whatever that means. Also, there was a reference to a curse, which I now know about, that help was needed and time was short.
In my worldly ignorance, I assumed that the orb was from Odin. Who else, I thought, would invade my dreams with such a message.
“All-father,” I replied, “where is the curse that you need help with?”
“Mordheim,” came the answer. Naturally, I had no knowledge of such a place. However, my experience with the people in the last village led me to believe that others might know of this place and could give me directions.
Then the orb asked the all-important question, “Are you prepared?”
“Yes.” I replied with assurance, for I would do whatever Odin commanded, as had been taught at the monastery.
The dream and reality seemed to somehow merge at this point. I awoke from my sleep at the light of day, feeling like no time had passed since the orb had appeared, yet it had been dark when the orb appeared and it was now becoming light so some time must have passed. I attributed the mix-up in time to the message from Odin, for I had heard of such things in the stories of the gods that my brothers had told me. The one thing I didn’t notice was the orb now hovering in the air. In fact, in my rush to get moving, I didn’t even look around as I started down the roadway.
However, after a few meters, I did notice the orb following me. I had assumed it only to be a dream and not something that would go with me on my trip to this land called Mordheim. Since it was still with me, I thought that I would ask it some questions that might help me get to Mordheim faster.
“Great Odin…” I began.
The orb interrupted me, “I am not from Odin.”
This was a surprise. If the orb did not come from Odin, the father of the gods, who else had such power.
“Who sent you?” I asked.
“High Priest Donovan,” came the reply. It was now beginning to dawn on me that perhaps this orb was more than an information source, perhaps it could take me to this land of Mordheim. The heroes of the epic ballads were sometimes aided by magic that transported them across thousands of miles; perhaps this orb did the same.
“Then take me to this High Priest,” I demanded of the orb. The orb demanded my acceptance. I am still not sure exactly what it wanted and also not sure if I gave it some kind of power over me but I let instinct guide me at this point. I bent one knee to the ground, like I would to a master at the monastery. Right or wrong, the orb enveloped me and took me on a ride I shall not soon forget.